This delicious nourishing soup, although not elegant to look at, will make your tummy smile.
I love soup, especially this time of year. But what I love most is using what I can find in my fridge and cupboards, throw it all together and turn up with something extra yummy! Which is exactly what I did with the rest of a bag of multi-bean soup I had in my cupboard.
Although the recipe is really good as is (well, I think so ;), I invite you to experiment with what you have around, add a bit of what you find tasty and create your own! You can even come up with a name for your creation!
I normally don’t use animal protein in my soups (I prefer Vegan, but I’m a Flexatarian – I do eat dairy, eggs and meat occasionally). This time I had leftover sausage from my mother. So I decided to use it. If you are vegetarian/vegan, omit the sausage. If you’re a meat eater, you can use a ham hock instead.
I’d love to hear what you thought of my recipe, or if you altered it, what you did, and what name you came up with! Share in the comments section.
Bon appetit !
THE UGLY YUMMY SOUP
2 cups multi-bean soup mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill 13 bean soup mix). If you use other brands that have flavour packets, throw out the packet
2 tbsp organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ sausage sliced thinly (I used an organic, locally-raised mild Italian sausage, however it actually had the consistency and taste of a knackwurst – maybe mislabelled! You can use whatever sausage you prefer, or a ham hock) - optional
1 large onion chopped
3-4 garlic buds finally chopped
2 large carrots diced
2 celery stalks diced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
½ tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp + of Worcestershire sauce (it might have been 1 tbsp – I free-poured) or to taste
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of tomato liquid (from a can of tomatoes I drained to use in another recipe) – optional
5 cups of water
Rinse and soak the beans overnight (or for at least 8 hours) in lots of water (they absorb a lot, so be generous). After soaking, drain and rinse them again. Keep aside.
Heat the olive oil and brown the sausage on both sides (about 5 minutes). Remove and set aside. Cook the onions on medium low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir around for about 3 minutes.
Add the celery, stir for another 3 minutes or so, then add the carrots, herbs and seasonings, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the cooked sausage, is using, to the pot, then add all the liquids. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on low heat for a minimum of 1 ½ hours to 2 hours. (I let mine cook for about three hours, had a bowl, then kept the heat on low for another few hours). You can also use a crockpot.
What I did to make the texture “creamier” (I never add cream to a soup, even when it’s call for it. It really isn’t necessary) is I used a hand blender (Cuisinard Smart Stick – if you don’t have one, blend half the soup in a blender or food processor) blending until about half the soup is blended, as I like to have some tasty chunky bits ! You can also leave as is, or blend it all – up to you :)
Serve with a salad and a nice piece of crusty bread (optional).
Remember, eat slow, chew, breathe and savour before going for a second bowl, because it really is hearty!
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